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A Little Weight Does a Body Good

A groundbreaking research study on aging that was the subject of a CBS 60 Minutes television special recently uncovered some surprising findings.  But what wasn’t a surprise — at least not to those who work with seniors every day — was what the study determined about the role of body weight in the aging process. If you want to live to 90 and beyond, researchers found, being “thin” is not necessarily “in.”

In fact, according to lead researcher Dr. Claudia Kawas, it’s best to either maintain your weight as you age, or even gain weight — provided you are not obese in middle age.

Says Dr. Kawas, a neurologist who specializes in geriatrics: “It’s not good to be skinny when you’re old.”

Carillon nurses and caregivers regularly monitor diet and weight changes among residents.  Care staff become especially watchful during and after an illness, and when new medications are being administered.  Even subtle changes can have a profound impact on a senior’s energy level, balance and coordination. Carillon nurses will work with a resident to help them regain their appetite with frequent, nutrition-packed snacks and supplements. Eating smaller meals throughout the day is often the key to regaining lost weight and increasing stamina.

As one resident at Carillon Assisted Living of Newton recently said, “It’s a funny thing to have to work to keep weight on, but that’s exactly what happened to me around the time I turned 80. I was never a ‘thin’ person, and I wouldn’t say I’m that thin now, but the difference these days is I feel stronger with that extra few pounds on me. [At Carillon] they feed us very well.”





Posted in Assisted Living, Sage Stories on May 12, 2014

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